FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q&A Before You Decide to Enroll:
Q1. Do you have Mandarin classes for older beginners, or for those
interested in Mandarin Conversation only?
A: Yes, the Mandarin Conversation 國語會話 (MC) class is designed for beginners
of all ages. The idea is to learn Chinese through natural discussions. The class
provides opportunities for you to interact and internalize the new skill with a
language partner in class. Please take advantage of the open enrollment and
"visiting student" policy and join us anytime.
Q2. My child is 16 months old, what is your minimum age requirement for
enrollment? What is the cost?
A: Our very popular Mommy & Me class 國語小小班 accepts students from age two
to Five. When classes resume onsite, this class meets every Saturday from 11am to
11:55am. Please feel free to bring your little one at that time and try it out. Tuition is
$300 for 30 weeks. Always check for current class time and pricing. Core Chinese
classes can accept your child turns 5, and progress from Level Kindergarten to 8.
Q3. We are interested in enrolling, but are very worried about how it will
work with the kids’ sport and school activities on Saturdays.
A: You have a very common concern with most other parents. Over the past 49
years, our school has co-existed with thousands of very busy South Bay families.
Our teachers are very experienced and flexible; they work with your family to
help your kid(s) succeed, in the amount of time he/she can devote to attending
Chinese lessons. With the tuition set at a very affordable rate (~$7/hr), it is a great
value for all families.
Q4. Is there any way to join a class far into a school year? Or, should we
wait for the second semester or next school year?
A: You do not need to wait, even in the second (Spring) semester. Kids are always
busy and many start at various weeks. The sooner the students can learn Chinese
with their peers in a class setting, the greater success they will have. That's why
we have open enrollment. Our classes are small, so that teachers have the flexibility
to fitting students' needs into their teaching methods. Tuition will be prorated.
Q5. What kind of help is there if my child falls behind in class?
A: The best resource is your class teacher. SBCS teachers are experienced
professionals who are passionate in teaching Chinese to kids raised in the
American culture. Our Principals (or Co-Principals) are also always available
to consult with you. After-school tutoring is available at a very nominal cost.
Q6. Can we seat in a class before registering?
A: Yes, welcome! When our classes restart onsite, feel free to stop any Saturday
(except school holidays) between 9am to 11am. See Q.12 for school calendar.
Our office manager on duty can process your visitor’s pass.
Q7. How and when can I register my child?
A: Please take advantage of the open enrollment policy and join anytime.
to firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept payments via Zelle®
(most financial institutions): Select SB
Chinese Culture Asso or (310) 780-0222
from your Contacts. Must include Student’s Name, Phone #, and Class info
(if available) so credits can
be applied correctly. Or checks can be mailed separately
to P.O. Box 2611 Palos Verdes, CA 90274. We will process & contact you.
Q8. Where is the SBCS office (when classes resume onsite)?
A: Look for the big SBCS banner, it should direct you to Room P110, where the
administrative office is. The school is open on 32 Saturdays, from 9am to noon;
between Sept to June. We follow PVPUSD holidays. See Q.12 for school calendar.
Q9. What are your hours and what is the difference between the semesters?
A: To comply with the stay-at-home initiative, Fall Semester 2020 will continue to be
distance learning so our students can continue to learn at home safely. It will be on
16 Saturdays from 9am to 11:30am. Teachers will provide breaks or special assistance
during these hours as needed.
We run two 16-wks semesters a year. Fall semester goes from late August to Jan,
Spring semester from Mid-Jan to early June. Classes are progressive, one textbook
will be covered in 2 semesters. If you'll be like some SBCS families who didn't start
during week 1 of the Fall semester, you have the remaining semester(s) to work with
the teacher to catch up. Please always check the calendar for specific event hours,
location changes, or school holidays. (Teaching format will change as more information
is provided by public authorities.)
Q10. What is the tuition for the traditional core language classes for ages 5
Kindergarten to AP?
A: Due to the stay-at-home initiative, Fall Semester 2020 will be taught online, between
9-11:30am. Tuition is reduced to only $335 ($40 material and fees included). Siblings
special still apply. Please see details on the 2020 Fall Semester Registration Form.
Special tuition rate is for a limited time only. Enroll now to prevent price change.
Class time, format, tuition and fees are subjected to change. Please see Q7 above
for payment methods.
Q11. Why do you require tuition payment all at once?
A: Our experience is that developing a language skill requires frequent interactions.
Families do find it necessary, and very helpful, to stay with our school more than
just a few weeks or even semesters. This Summer & Fall, we want to simplify the
process and reduce the cost for the families. So, the tuition & fees are lowered.
Please see Q7 & Q10 above regarding tuition and payment options.
Q12. I’m unable to find your schedule online.
A: Please reference our calendars
on the left side of the webpage
www.southbaychineseschool.org; scroll down to find a mini calendar embedded
Q13. My child is a beginner; please explain the difference between
Mandarin Conversation (MC) and core Chinese classes (LK/HLK/C1)?
A: Students in the conversation class learn Chinese through listening and real life
discussions (refer to Q1 above). In contrast, students in the core Chinese classes
must also learn reading and writing 讀和寫. They advance through the curriculum
with their classmates from kindergarten to AP (K – 8) levels.
Conversation class is
also a transitional class for some Cantonese (C2) or English speaking students who
already have some basic reading and writing skills. These students need to focus on
listening and speaking 聽和講 before migrating to a higher level core Mandarin classes.
The goal is for them to start Mandarin learning at Level two (HL2/L2) or three (L3)
instead of level K or one.
Q14. What is the difference between Level Kindergarten (LK) and Hanyu
Pinyin Level Kindergarten 漢語拼音 (HLK)?
A: "L" stands for Level, "HL" stands for Hanyu Pinyin Level and "K" is Kindergarten.
"LK" is for those interested in writing in traditional Chinese characters, and using
the zhuyin (bo po mo fo) 注音 technique to pronounce words.
"HLK" is for those interested in writing in simplified Chinese characters, and using
the hanyu pinyin 拼音 technique to pronounce words.
Although some may consider one method easier or more popular than the other, most
students are an open book who will adjust well in either method. We recommend that
every family evaluates both classes to find a better fit for YOU.
Q15: What are the symbols "HL_", "L_" and "C_" in front of each core class?
A: "L" stands for Zhuyin Level, "HL" Hanyu Pinyin Level and "C" Cantonese. SBCS offers
3 different tracks for families with different interests.
For Mandarin, "L" & "HL" (see Q14 above), beginning in Kindergarten (LK, HLK), students
learn different methods to write and pronounce words. Then they advance to L1 or HL1,
respectively. After 3 years, when students from both tracks have a good foundation with
their techniques, "L" and "HL" combine and learn together at Level 3 (L3) and up. The
upper level teachers will continue to teach in both styles. Students continue to learn by
using the same textbook that is printed in either Zhuyin or Pinyin.
For Cantonese, the classes are small. Instead of grouping students by grade levels, they
are either beginners (C1) or intermediate learners (C2). Cantonese learners are expected
to stay in their respective class for more than a year before they are ready to advance to
the next level or to transition to Mandarin learning. Please see Q16 below also.
Q16. We are Cantonese, it is nice if our kids know both Cantonese and
Mandarin. Should we enroll in the Cantonese series first or start learning
Mandarin right away?
A: Our school is the only school in the Greater South Bay area to offer Cantonese
classes 廣東話班 - C1 and C2 (2 levels). Our students typically grow up listening to the
Cantonese-speaking grandparents or parents. Besides having ample of chances to
speak and learn in Cantonese, its very effective curriculum helps students build an
unusually strong vocabulary base in reading and writing traditional characters. As they
transition to the Mandarin track, they can focus primarily in listening and pronunciation.
We recommend that your family evaluates both C1 & LK (traditional characters)
classes to find a better match for YOU. Please see Q13 above also.
AFTER YOU ENROLL:
Q1. How do we know if we are registered successfully?
A: When the school receives your registration form and your tuition, we'll email
you regarding what to expect next or if anything is still required. We accept checks
or payment from Zelle®
(work for most financial institutions), see Q7 above, If you
forgot to reference the student’s Name, phone #, and class info (if available)
with your tuition, please contact us here
Q2. Where do we go on our first day of school (when classes resume onsite)?
A: For Fall 2020, SBCS will continue distance learning so students can learn Chinese
at the safety of their own home. When bricks and mortar school is allowed to resume,
we host an Opening Ceremony 開學典禮 on the first week of the Fall Semester. You will
see posted signs directing you to event location, or you will see parent volunteers in
red SBCS shirts.
Q3. Is there a map showing all the rooms that SBCS uses (when classes
A: Yes, a map is usually placed near the official SBCS banner. Look for the banner
Q4. Where is the SBCS office (when classes resume onsite)?
A: Look for the big SBCS banner, it should direct you to Room P110, where the
administrative office is. Follow the red arrow on the map
Q1: What is 2020 Online Summer Camp?
A: Due to the California Stay-At-Home initiative, SBCS has moved our popular onsite
summer camp online. The entire program is 5 weeks long. Camper will join on a
Q2: My child is entering High School, is summer camp still appropriate?
A: Each student can enjoy learning Chinese during the summer. Aside from the
standard summer camp or online summer class, SBCS Teachers will evaluate and
offer one-on-one recommendation for interested student.
Q3: Is the summer camp for young children only?
A: Although traditional onsite summer camp is a mixture of 5 to 15 years old
students. Online classes will be tailored to students from 5-12 years old. The
teacher will divide students into 2 groups of similar age, according to their
Chinese proficiency level. They will also learn different fun facts about Chinese
culture. There's a central theme every week. More info:
Q4: We'll be busy early July, can we enroll a week in June, and then
a week later in July?
A: Yes, the program is flexible, teaching a different theme each week. Parents
can choose the number of weeks of enrollment. In 2020, all classes are online, so
as long as their is internet access, the student can learn something about Chinese
language and culture weekly.